The Newsroom: Season 1 (2012)


Season 1
The Newsroom

Critics Consensus

Though it sports good intentions and benefits from moments of stellar dialogue and a talented cast, The Newsroom may feel too preachy, self satisfied, and cynical to appeal to a wide range of viewers.



Critic Ratings: 48


Audience Score

User Ratings: 458

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Air date: Jun 24, 2012

Series Pilot. Surviving the fallout from a meltdown, ACN 'News Night' anchor Will McAvoy returns to his job and faces a new executive producer (a former girlfriend), a staff overhaul, and a breaking-news challenge.

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Air date: Jul 1, 2012

Mac asserts control over the new incarnation of News Night and enlists a beautiful and brainy on-air economist, Sloan Sabbith, to do a nightly segment. Jim takes the fall for a Maggie miscue; a long-festering breakup secret gets out.

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Air date: Jul 8, 2012

In an on-air editorial, Will apologizes for past newscasts and promises a new era of integrity for News Night. Will's new approach rankles CEO Leona Lansing. Jim soothes Maggie during a panic attack; Don charges Elliot to get in the game.

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Air date: Jul 15, 2012

Will's 'mission to civilize' takes a hit when he finds himself in the tabloid spotlight. Wade approaches Will with a story; Don gets Maggie to fix Jim up with her roommate; Will refuses to follow the media rumor mill and make a call on a breaking story.

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Air date: Jul 22, 2012

In the midst of its coverage of the ouster of Egyptian President Mubarak, the 'News Night' team learns of a teachers' protest in Wisconsin, prompting them to get side-by-side views of the simultaneous uprisings on air.

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Air date: Jul 29, 2012

Will keeps a long-standing therapy appointment. Subbing for Elliot during the Japanese nuclear crisis, Sloan's interrogation of a Tokyo power-company spokesperson lands her in hot water. Will comes to recognize the causes and effects of being a bully.

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Air date: Aug 5, 2012

An anonymous source contacts Charlie and provides advance details on an imminent story of national importance. When news breaks that the President will be making a televised speech that night, the 2.0 staff cuts short its anniversary party.

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Air date: Aug 12, 2012

News Night's refusal to lead with a pair of sensational stories causes ratings to plummet--and forces Will and Mac to abandon their principles in order to lure back viewers and shore up the network's bid to land a Republican debate.

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Air date: Aug 19, 2012

Will and the staff stage a mock debate for two Republican Party officials. Mac has an epiphany during a power outage; Charlie vets the credibility of an NSA insider; Lisa goes off-script during an interview; Neal goes undercover as an internet troll.

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Air date: Aug 26, 2012

Season One Finale. Nina Howard surprises Mac with a damning revelation; Jim and Maggie reach a crossroad; Sloan weighs a new job offer; Neal uses his internet alter-ego to smoke out a threat. Will, Mac, and Charlie face off with Leona and Reese.

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The Newsroom: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

A volatile cable-news anchor (Jeff Daniels) and the idealogical staff that has just been foisted upon him set out to 'do the news well' in the face of numerous obstacles in Season 1 of this HBO series from Aaron Sorkin ('The Social Network').

News & Interviews for The Newsroom: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Newsroom Season 1

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (28)

Even with The West Wing creator at the wheel, HBO's Next Big Drama, Newsroom, which is set at a CNN-like network, disappoints.

Sep 13, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Speechifying, crusading characters and high drama are acceptable when the future of the free world is at risk; less so when it's the future of an 11pm cable news show.

Mar 28, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Ultimately, no one appears more deluded than Sorkin. His Will McAvoy is an insufferable blowhard, but the show spends most of its energy trying to convince us he's a saint.

Sep 16, 2013 | Full Review…

Monstrously misconceived and incompetently executed, powered by a high-octane blend of arrogance and contempt, The Newsroom is an epochal failure, a program destined for television's all-time What Were They Thinking?

Jun 24, 2012 | Full Review…

The show offers a lot of great talking, but to whom does it wish to speak?

Jun 24, 2012 | Full Review…

It all feels over-overwrought.

Jun 24, 2012 | Full Review…

Even when the show is varnished with its fictional media gloss, its ideology is steadfast. It's never meant to be revolutionary either.

Apr 29, 2020 | Full Review…

The Newsroom is a little like 24 would be if there were no Jack Bauer, only the nerds back at CTU.

Oct 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Flawed, but endlessly fascinating and enjoyable.

Aug 26, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Aaron Sorkin's latest show is so serious it's ridiculous.

Jul 22, 2018 | Full Review…

We really enjoyed The Newsroom... But Sorkin's desperation to say something serious and make statements are so ham-fisted and hackneyed that it will rub many up the wrong way and leave those that would normally sympathise with him feeling patronized.

Jun 21, 2018 | Full Review…

The Newsroom isn't one giant sermon, and even a less-than-great entry from Sorkin is better than much of what graces the airwaves.

Jun 21, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Newsroom: Season 1

  • Feb 08, 2021
    The Newsroom can feel too self-satisfied with its own answers to the complex issues surrounding the news media, but it mostly overcomes its flaws with incredibly sharp dialogue and a fully committed performance from Jeff Daniels.
  • Jan 02, 2021
    fun characters, but the witty, cynical quips don't cover up the gushing ode to liberalism that Sorkin finds himself penning once again. This series is more fantasy than Game of Thrones the way it portrays politics.
  • Aug 13, 2020
    Clever, fast, and a good critique of mainstream media coverage (albeit a bit harsh...)
  • May 30, 2020
    I really loved this show. Every season it just got better. I wish it was still on the air.
  • May 15, 2020
    Tacky writing. The narrative style is not cohesive and can't seem to make up its mind. A scene of gritty realism is often immediately followed up with a non-sensical banter. It's hard to take the characters seriously, it's also hard find a comic narrative to it. This show had so much potential. In a post-truth era, this show could have been a testament to show everything that's wrong with news media but they just reached out for the clickbait trailer and the lowest hanging fruits
  • Apr 02, 2020
    One of the best shows that doesn't treat the audience like idiots. It's exactly what we wish journalists were like and what I think we need a little more of these days.
  • Mar 25, 2020
    Sorkin's Season 1 started with a bang but ended with a whimper. The fictious show and its main character, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), start with a noble premise: What if the news media was about the facts and not the hype? You can even see how high they set the bar with their opening credits (which were totally revamped for Season 2). Unfortunately, they totally run out steam by the third episode (The 112th Congress) and Will goes from potentially being the next Walter Cronkite to the next Chris Mathews. After episode 3, Sorkin took to bashing everything Republican or Tea Party and this continues for the rest of the season. This is not to say that the colorful group of incompetent Republicans should not have been skewered... it's just to point out that with a Democrat as President (Obama), Will - who continually reminds us that he's a Republican - cannot find one fault with the White House or any Democrat in office. It seems that only Republicans are saying stupid things and to prove this, Sorkin takes to not only attacking all Republican POTUS contenders but also every conservative voice including Rush Limbaugh and Fox. [Seems that even today, Walter Cronkite would want a balanced presentation.] To make Season 1 even more intolerable, Sorkin creates amazing characters and complex relationships that only serve to frustrate you to no end. These smart, witty and creative personas can solve all of America's political problems with a couple of charts and a few poignant facts... yet they're too inept to take a moment to tell someone they care about that they're sorry, they love them or they're in love with someone else. Or find the time to follow through. Plus, just when a character gathers the fortitude to speak openly about their feeling - we feel Sorkin's Deus ex machina in the form of unbelievable events in order to keep the relationships from going anywhere. Not once. Not twice. But over and over again. Kudos to Sorkin for writing strong and smart female characters who were a joy to see. But unfortunately, the "news" content and ridiculous failed relationships were so heavy handedly presented that watching Season 1 grew tiresome and very preachy. If you want to see an engaging and entertaining production of what news should be and how newsroom relationships are complicated, check out James Brooks' Broadcast News film. It shines where Newsroom Season 1 fails miserably.
  • Mar 19, 2020
    This is one of the most compelling, relevant, and captivating show from a geo-political, emotional and social level!
  • Sep 30, 2019
    Absolutely a beautiful piece of work!!! I originally saw a short clip of this season circulating social media and was interested where it originated from. Once I found out it came from this series, I sat down and watched the first episode, then the second, the third, and the rest of the series. Mr. Sorkin does such a wonderful job writing this series and creating a show that the audience can truly relate to as these are real events that happened throughout our life time. I have since watched this serious over a dozen times and continue to recommend the show to friends and co-workers.
  • Feb 04, 2019
    One of my all-time favorite TV series. I love Sorkin's writing and this show is just on an entirely different level than all of his previous ventures in television (which I also really enjoyed - but even The West Wing is not of the caliber that The Newsroom is.) The cast - led by Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Thomas Sadoski, Allison Pill, David Harbour and Sam Waterston - is truly outstanding. It also features a number of great guest spots Damon Gupron, David Krumholtz and Terry Crews. The characters are beautifully drawn - the show is both inspirational and wildly funny. The speech Will McAvoy delivers in the pilot is just a masterpiece. The show is perfectly cast with characters I fell in love with almost immediately. My only disappointment in the show was that Sorkin let the media criticism of the first season get to him - and unfortunately, it resulted in the show moving in a less inspirational direction - and Sorkin is always at his best when he is tilting at windmills.

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